17.03.2006 Business & Finance

Kufuor inaugurates prefabricated housing factory

17.03.2006 LISTEN

Tema, March 17, GNA - President John Agyekum Kufuor on Friday inaugurated a manufacturing plant established at the Free Zone Enclave for the production of prefabricated housing units to open a completely new face in the approach to housing delivery.

It was established by Red Sea Housing Services, a Saudi Arabian Company, which has over the last 25 year's delivered housing projects in 43 countries across the world.

The operation of the plant would not be limited to serving the housing needs of only Ghana but cover Equatorial Guinea, Angola, Nigeria, Gabon and Nigeria.

President Kufuor said the project coming at a time when the Government had initiated various programmes in a bid to solve the problem of housing, which was particularly more pronounced in the cities and towns, was a welcome coincidence.

"We are more than happy that the factory is using locally produced lumber and cement as important raw materials."

He reminded the Management of the Company about the need to be a good corporate citizen by meeting its tax obligations and to ensure environmental friendliness in the course of its operations. "I have no doubt that good governance will be practiced to enable employers and labour to work purposefully to their mutual benefit." President Kufuor gave the assurance that the Government's role of continuing to guarantee economic stability, good governance and a business-friendly environment for both local and foreign investors would never be reneged.

He noted that both internal and global conditions augured well for business adding: "Our expectation is that, there will be many happy years of fruitful co-operation between Red Sea Housing Services and Ghana."

Mr Hackman Owusu-Agyemang, Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing, said the project fitted well into the Government's vision of delivering affordable housing to the people.

He said the advantage, it had brought was its termite-free and the ability to withstand earthquakes.

The Minister appealed to the Company to offer Ghana special dispensation by reducing the cost of its houses to make them really affordable to Ghanaians.

A two-bedroom house built by the Company cost 12,500 dollars while a single room house goes for 10,000 dollars and this could be delivered within three to four weeks.

Mr Allan Kyerematen, Minister of Trade and Industry, said being an export oriented business, the activities of the Company would help to diversify the export base of the country.

It is estimated that the Company would be exporting products to the tune of about 50 million dollars annually.

He appealed to Ghanaian companies to take advantage of the Free Zone Act and the Enclave saying, it should not be populated by only foreign businesses.

Mr Kyeremateng announced that a portion of the Enclave would be designated as a multi-purpose park where those not exporting 70 per cent of their products would be located.

Mr Don Summer, Managing Director of the Company, said the choice of Ghana was influenced by the stability of its government, reliability of the transport and communications system, efficient seaport and qualified manpower.

The Company is already employing 400 Ghanaians and would soon increase the number to 750.

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